Stanback v. Nestle USA, Inc.
Memorandum Opinion and Order For the reasons stated in the Order, the case is remanded to state court. Related document 12 . Signed by Judge Dan Aaron Polster on 5/11/12. (K,K)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
FREDERICK T. STANBACK,
NESTLE USA, INC., et al.,
Case No. 1:11-CV-1669
Judge Dan Aaron Polster
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for remand (Doc. # 12), which was filed the same
day Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (Doc. # 11). The amended complaint deleted all claims
arising under federal law, leaving only state-law claims. (Complete diversity of citizenship
never existed in this case.)
Plaintiff argues that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), the Court must remand the case to
state court because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction; i.e., remand is mandatory.
Defendants, on the other hand, argue that the Court may remand the case; i.e., remand is
discretionary. Defendants’ argument relies, albeit indirectly, on 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).1
Defendants have the better argument.
Removal jurisdiction is determined from the face of the well-pleaded complaint, not a
post-removal amended complaint. Inge v. Rock Fin. Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 629 (6th Cir. 2002)
The difference matters because a remand for lack of jurisdiction under § 1447(c) is not
reviewable on appeal whereas a remand under § 1367(c)(3) is. See Carlsbad Technology, Inc. v.
HIF Bio, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1862 (2009).
(Dowd, J., dissenting) (citing Rivet v. Regions Bank of Louisiana, 522 U.S. 470, 475 (1998)).
There is no dispute that, at the time of removal, the Court had original jurisdiction over the
federal-law claims and supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims. The fact that
Plaintiffs have filed a post-removal amended complaint does not divest this Court of
supplemental jurisdiction but instead gives the Court discretion to exercise—or not—its
supplemental jurisdiction. A recent Supreme Court decision makes this clear.
In Carlsbad Technology, Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1862 (2009), the Supreme
Court considered a district court’s “decision not to retain on its docket a case that once contained
federal law issues but now contains only state law issues.” Id. at 1869 (Breyer, J., concurring)
(original emphasis). The Supreme Court distinguished between whether a court has subjectmatter jurisdiction in the first place and whether the court chooses to exercise that jurisdiction.
Id. at 1866. It was undisputed in that case—just as it is undisputed here—that when the action
was originally removed the district court had original jurisdiction over the federal claims and
supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims. Id. at 1867. When the federal claims were
dismissed the district court still retained its statutory supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law
claims. Id. Accordingly, the Supreme Court held, the district court’s “decision declining to
exercise that statutory authority was not based on a jurisdictional defect but on its discretionary
choice not to hear the claims despite its subject-matter jurisdiction over them.” Id.
The same logic applies here. Though the Plaintiff has filed a post-removal amended
complaint eliminating all federal claims, the Court still retains supplemental jurisdiction over the
state-law claims. Whether or not the Court will hear the state-law claims is thus a matter of
All that being said, the Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the
remaining state-law claims. This decision is reached after considering the factors enumerated in
Harper v. AutoAlliance Int'l, Inc., 392 F.3d 195, 211 (6th Cir. 2004). No dispositive motions
have been filed, let alone briefed, the case has been on the docket for less than a year, and the
claims involve questions of state law, which the state courts are better suited to handle. For
these reasons, the case is remanded to state court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/Dan Aaron Polster 5/11/12
Dan Aaron Polster
United States District Judge
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